Applied behavior analytic intervention services for children with autism spectrum disorders: an investigation of Chinese parents

Yini Liao, Karola Dillenburger, Xiaomin Li, Xi Yao, Yi Mou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Applied behavior analysis (ABA)-based interventions have been used worldwide for several decades to improve socially significant behaviors of individuals with autism. However, as the utilization of the ABA-based interventions in the Chinese mainland is relatively new, it remains unclear about some fundamental aspects of using these interventions in this region.

This study investigated the use of ABA-based interventions in Beijing and surrounding areas by using a quantitative survey (N = 85) and a qualitative semi-structured interview (N = 10) to collect data from parents of children with autism.

This study found that (a) the ABA-based intervention service was the most popular one chosen by parents, and the majority of these parents reported improvements in children’s behaviors and gave positive evaluations for the work of professionals; (b) this service was mainly delivered at autism organizations (i.e. autism clinics/schools) or children’s homes, but rarely used in mainstream school settings; (c) the high cost of ABA interventions was a financial burden for families; and (d) a high proportion of parents were involved in interventions as assistant therapists. Furthermore, some aspects of the use of this service varied with families’ socioeconomic levels. The qualitative interviews expounded upon motivations for parents’ choices and evaluations for this service.

These findings provided valuable insights for service providers, policymakers, and researchers to optimize ABA-based intervention services for Chinese children with autism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Early online date14 Dec 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 14 Dec 2023


  • ABA
  • ABA-based interventions
  • ASD
  • Autism
  • behavioral interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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